Joey Barton offers Paul Gascoigne warning
Friday 15 February 2013
Joey Barton has warned that Paul Gascoigne can only win his battle with the bottle if he helps himself.
The Queen's Park Rangers midfielder, on a season's loan with Marseilles, overcame his own demons with alcoholism after working with Peter Kay from charity The Sporting Chance. Gascoigne is recovering in a Phoenix hospital after a number of former team-mates, including Gary Lineker, paid for him to be admitted last week in a bid to combat his addiction.
Barton wrote on his personal blog yesterday that the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has been paying Gascoigne's rent "for several years and without fanfare". However, Barton believes it is now down to the former Newcastle and Tottenham midfielder to ensure there is no relapse and warned that "handouts" are not a long-term solution.
"Tough love is a better approach; let Paul start to take actions himself with the hands of support around him," Barton wrote.
"Let's not rely on special funds because he was a special player it sets a dangerous, unsustainable precedent. Offer Paul a choice. If he agrees full support, full support should be offered. If not, stop paying his rent and funding his lifestyle. I have been told that Paul only accepted to go to treatment this time if the country he would rehab in was of a good climate, so as he could get a 'good tan'. I was staggered when I was told this."
Barton served 77 days of a six-month jail term in 2008 after an assault in his home-town of Liverpool. He claims to have been tee-total since but admitted that it remains a daily struggle.
"I thought that if I didn't drink then things would be ok, and admittedly that is the start. But if you take away the drug which at a level helped, it has to be replaced with an alternative. Otherwise, like me, you'll walk around like a bomb waiting to fuse… Unmedicated with alcohol, the volcano starts to erupt, gently at first and then it becomes an enduring flow of unstoppable lava."
Latest in Sport
Sky Sports and BT Sport announce Premier League live matches for 2015/16 with Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in action
Wimbledon 2015: Dustin Brown knocks Rafael Nadal out of the championship
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
Dustin Brown: Who is the world number 102 who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon?
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture